The Baker Mallett Starting Blocks Challenge baton has been well and truly passed on from Jon to Quantity Surveyor Tom for the second of their challenges. On 13th October Tom - along with a group of friends - got on his bike to ride from Warrington to Bebington on the Wirral to recognise the huge impact Clatterbridge Hospital had as the Starting Block in his life.

"I heard about the work of Dame Kelly Holmes Trust through the partnership Baker Mallett have with them. I hadn’t heard of the Trust before but hearing about the work they do in supporting young people who haven’t been so fortunate in the early stages of their life really resonated with me.

 

At the age of 17 and then again at 23 I was diagnosed with cancer. As part of my treatment I spent two blocks of 15 days attending Clatterbridge hospital in Bebington for radiotherapy treatment. Without the care I received on those occasions I wouldn’t be here today and I’ll forever be grateful to the people who work there and to all the doctors and researchers who spend their lives looking for a cure for cancer. When I heard about the Starting Blocks Challenge I knew my Starting Block would be Clatterbridge Hospital so I decided to cycle there and back from my home in Warrington, a total of about 54 miles.

I like to cycle but this was going to be the furthest I’d ever cycled in one day so I made sure I got out training regularly in the weeks leading up to the big day, ensuring I upped my mileage ahead of the day I’d take on my Starting Blocks Challenge.

The forecast for the day itself was awful but we actually got quite lucky with the weather on the day, with just a hint of drizzle at times rather than the torrential downpour forecast. The ride itself was pretty smooth with no punctures at all and I rode with a group of friends which was great, so thanks to Paul, Joanne, Alan and Ste for keeping me company. It was pretty emotional pulling up to the hospital at the halfway line, it brought back memories of my time there and while I’ll always be grateful to the people there, I’m also grateful that I don’t have to go back there again. I’ve been in remission for five years now, I had to have quarterly or six months check-ups previously but I was finally discharged in Feb 2021.

When I finished the ride, there was a massive sense of achievement, partly because it was the furthest distance I’ve ever ridden – I actually ended up riding about 64 miles - but also a big sense of accomplishment that we’d raised £500 to support young people facing disadvantage to unlock their potential in life."

Tom being presented with his medal by Pippa from the Trust

Everyone at Dame Kelly Holmes Trust would like to say a huge thank you to Tom for completing his challenge and raising £500 for the Trust. If you are inspired by his story you can still donate on his page or sign up to complete a Starting Blocks Challenge of your own.


Baker Mallett have joined Dame Kelly Holmes Trust as Silver Partners for the Starting Blocks Challenge. A Starting Block is the person, place or moment that inspired you to become who you are today. We'd like you to get sponsored to run, walk, swim or ride the distance back to where your story started and go back to give back.